Author: Bonnie Honig

Fortuna in Finland

Political theorists and other readers of the classics will recognize the advice, to use torture, do the “unthinkable,” and to “Be rougher and you’ll see a different relationship;” all of it said by Donald Trump in interviews stretching from the 1990’s to the 2016 campaign and then, most recently, in Europe at the NATO meeting. It strikingly echoes Machiavelli’s counsel in The Prince regarding how best to deal with Fortuna, Machiavelli’s term for the lucky break or random chance event that makes or breaks a man of action. Machiavelli personifies Fortuna, the prince’s frenemy, as a woman and he...

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“Entirely Consensual”? Stormy Daniels’ #MeToo moment 

 “A guy walked up on me and said to me, ‘Leave Trump alone. Forget the story,’” Stormy Daniels told Anderson Cooper on 60 Minutes Sunday night. It was 2011 and she was in a parking lot. Her baby daughter was in the car seat and she was on her way to the gym. The man then “leaned around and looked at my daughter and said, ‘That’s a beautiful little girl. It’d be a shame if something happened to her mom.’” The threat worked: Daniels was “rattled.” The scene is straight out of one of those movies where nothing good happens to...

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(Un)Reality TV: Trump, Kelly, and the Revolving Door of Whiteness

With a reality TV president in office, it should be no surprise to watch, once again, as the revolving door between reality and TV swings once more, and we are left unclear which side of it we are on. And yet I am stunned at the usefulness, not for the first time, of the show VEEP, in helping us to understand Trump in Washington. In Season 6, episode 8 of VEEP, we meet the father of Selina’s devoted assistant, Gary. Selina, for those who do not know the show, is an empty, ambitious woman who will do or say...

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